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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Miners Killed in Ukraine Coal Mine

KIEV, Ukraine - Two miners died in separate incidents in Ukraine, the first deaths this year in the long, sad tradition of mining accidents in this former Soviet republic, officials said Thursday.

One miner died Wednesday as the result of an unspecified breach of safety rules at the Kiselyova mine in the coal-rich Donetsk region. Another was crushed to death the same day by a coal-transporting wagon in the nearby Luhansk area, the Emergency Situations Ministry reported.

Overall, some 320 Ukrainian miners died on the job last year, including 81 who were killed by a coal dust explosion in the eastern Barakova mine. In 1999, 297 coal workers were killed on the job.

Ukraine's mines are among the world's most dangerous. With the government short on cash and the majority of mines making losses, little money is devoted to investments in safety equipment and maintenance.